Battle of Honkaniemi
|Battle of Honkaniemi (Lebedevka)|
|Part of Winter War|
|Commanders and leaders|
Capt. I. Kunnas
Lt. O. Heinonen
Col. V.Kashuba |
23rd Division |
(Jaeger Battalion 3
4th Armoured Company
4th Infantry Battalions
2nd Artillery Battalions)
Elements of the 84th Division |
Elements of 35th Light Tank Brigade
(112. Armored Battalion)
|Casualties and losses|
The plan[change | change source]
The original plan was to attack the Soviets with six Infantry Battalions, four artillery battalions and the 4th Armoured Company. However, only four Infantry Battalions, two artillery battalions and the 4th Tank Company did the attack.
The assault[change | change source]
On the nights of February 25 and 26, members of the Jaeger Battalion went by truck and by skiing to get to the battle. The tank company lost five of their 13 Vickers 6-Ton tanks due to engine failure. There was another problem. When the Finns started to use their artillery guns, they accidentally killed or wounded 30 Finns.
The beginning[change | change source]
Another two Finnish tanks stopped working. This meant that the Finnish only had six tanks for the battle. Even after all these set-backs, there were more to come. The 1st Jaeger Battalion was fired on by the Soviets. Then this battalion came to a railway track, but they could not cross it. The 2nd and 3rd Jaeger Battalions also stopped.
Tank backup[change | change source]
The 4th Armoured Company got a tank stuck in a ditch. The remaining five tanks were hit by T-26s, T-28s and 45 mm anti-tank guns". The tank of Corporal E. Seppälä hit two Soviet tanks. However, the crew had to abandon the tank because it stopped working. The other Finnish tank destroyed one Soviet tank before being damaged.
Finnish retreat[change | change source]
Captain Kunnas got orders at 10:00 pm to stop the attack and retreat. The Finns' first tank battle was not a success. The tank battle had been fought with crews who did not have much experience. As well, they had almost no radio communication.
Afterwards[change | change source]
The battle caused the deaths of one NCO. Two officers and two NCOs were injured. As well, three privates were reported missing. The Finnish troopers kept on trying to attack the Soviets.